Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui has said that the club are very much alive, despite reports claiming he was set for the sack.
Florentino Perez has told Lopetegui he has to beat Barcelona to remain in charge of the club.
The former Spain boss has not seen his side win in their last five games, having lost to Levante at the weekend in front of a disgruntled Santiago Bernabeu.
That game featured Madrid’s first goal in five after Marcelo struck but goals from Jose Luis Morales and Roger Marti condemned the European champions to another defeat.
That form has led to a call for a change, despite Lopetegui only being in charge since the start of the summer when he sensationally was sacked from his international role with La Roja just moments before the World Cup in Russia.
Perez, who sold Cristiano Ronaldo this summer and failed to bring in a replacement – has now opted to look for suitable replacements.
Former player Santiago Solari has been mentioned in Spanish reports, whilst Conte, who has previously been linked with the job at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“The team is alive and we are excited for the game tomorrow,” Lopetegui told reporters on Monday.
“This is a strong squad, it is full of champions and serial winners, that does not come about by chance and champions stand up in difficult moments. The DNA of this club is to fight and to battle, which we will do both as players and a coaching team, we know we need to improve.
“I am not paying attention to what is being reported, my job is to prepare my team for the next game and that is what I am doing. We are focusing on the present and we are completely motivated to prove what we are capable of and that recent results are not reflective.
“We go day to day and not beyond that.”
Madrid face Barcelona next week in the first El Clasico of the season, but it is not yet known if Lopetegui will still be at the helm after the Champions League tie with Viktoria Plzen in midweek.